Language Barriers in Online Learning


Natalie Bashore

Schoolwork that is written in Spanish

Natalie Bashore

Brentsville District High School is continuing the 2020-2021 school year online due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Besides issues with submitting assignments and learning course material virtually, there are some students who may be dealing with an extra struggle: a language barrier. Some students may not be fluent in English, so they may be struggling with a language barrier .

Though BDHS is working to help students to the best of their ability, there are still some areas that need work, which include a language barrier between some students and their teachers. This is an issue in other schools as well, whether school is occurring virtually or not. Parents may avoid sending their children to certain schools because they do not understand English, or if there is not anybody at the school who speaks their native language.

Th language barrier can be resolved through the actions of the school and its administrators. Schools could provide interpreters or translations of assignments in multiple languages to ease the language barrier. Many translators can work remotely as well, which can benefit students currently with social distancing and Covid-19 safety precautions in place.

Students can also find translation services on their own. There are translation services that can meet a student’s specific needs, to help avoid misunderstandings. Additionally, some terminology used in education is not always clear to families, though that terminology can be simplified. Teachers could use direct explanations of concepts instead of technical terms that some students might not understand.

Language barriers are a challenge for many students, especially in an online learning environment. If schools and students work to minimize the language barrier, then this issue can be resolved quickly and easily.